Throughout our 41-state footprint Charter has made disaster preparedness a top priority. As states in the western U.S. continue to battle an unprecedented wildfire season, Charter is committed to ensuring our customers can access emergency information such as evacuation orders, stay in touch with loved ones, and seek help if necessary.
Natural disasters are unpredictable and can be fast moving, which means it’s important to be prepared to respond quickly to any situation. We regularly review and update our Disaster Emergency Action Plans so that we are ready to adapt as needed, and if a natural disaster strikes, Charter employees work as quickly as possible to safely conduct field surveys to identify impacted customers and restore connectivity. In addition, Charter works closely with federal, state, and local government officials, community leaders, and alongside others in the industry to ensure we are meeting needs and sharing appropriate information.
During a wildfire event it’s critically important that residents remain informed about where the fire is burning, areas to avoid, and how and where it is spreading. Spectrum News 1 SoCal’s meteorologists use state-of-the-art-technology to provide precise, updated forecasts to subscribers in Southern California. These weather reports are essential not only for residents in the community, but also for those fighting fires and coordinating emergency response.
Last year saw devastating wildfires up and down the California coast that displaced residents and destroyed their homes. Charter took extra steps to ensure residents remained connected to the information and communications tools they desperately needed, including by providing Wi-Fi to designated shelters in the impacted areas. We also provided wireless phones for use at evacuation centers to ensure those staying at the shelters could contact loved ones.
Thus far in 2020, multiple states have already experienced massive and extremely destructive wildfires. Charter got to work quickly to install ultra-fast broadband in command centers in Gilroy and Red Bluff, California to aid local officials and emergency personnel to coordinate disaster responses. Charter is proactively reaching out to customers that we have identified as likely to have experienced property loss or damage due to the fires in order to discuss service options such as cancelling or suspending service for up to nine months. In addition, customers will not be charged for equipment damaged in a wildfire.
Whether wildfires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, Charter remains committed to supporting the communities we serve. We are working around the clock to be there for our customers and employees by making sure people in impacted areas can stay safe and connected.